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SIS Student Awards Program

The School of Information Sciences (SIS) offers a series of awards to acknowledge student achievement in various aspects of the IS field and promotion of the University of Tennessee Volunteer spirit.

Gary R. Purcell Award

The Gary R. Purcell Award honors the memory of the school’s first director. The faculty present this award to a student who shows unusual promise as a leader in the field of information sciences, in research and innovation, intellectual activity and creativity and management. It is an award for overall excellence rather than excellence in any one particular area alone. For the purpose of this award, “leadership” is defined as the ability to make a significant change for the better for a group of people, a technology or institution, and to advance the intellectual discipline of the information sciences.

Academic Achievement Award

The purpose of the Academic Achievement Award is to recognize a student for excellence in academic work, such as coursework, presentations, thesis, and/or manuscripts submitted for publication.

Outstanding Service Award

The purpose of the Outstanding Service Award is to recognize a student who has shown exemplary, continuous, dedicated, and voluntary service to the SIS community.

Best Paper Award

The Best Paper Award recognizes excellence in writing, research and critical thinking. It is limited to research papers that contain some original contribution by the student. Deadeline for nominations is March 22. Submit Nominations Here.

Best Project Award

The Best Project Award recognizes outstanding work that is not a research paper. Projects might include a website or other electronic resource, collection development plan, database design and/or implementation, instructional materials, systems analysis plan and/or implementation, information visualization, or other projects that demonstrate the integration of theoretical and technical knowledge. Deadeline for nominations is March 22. Submit Nominations Here.

Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award recognizes excellence in writing, research, and critical thinking. Awards may not be given every year. This award will be conferred at the School’s Hooding and Awards Ceremony in May.

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award recognizes excellence in writing, research, and critical thinking. Awards may not be given every year. This award will be conferred at the School’s Hooding and Awards Ceremony in May.

Eligibility and Nomination

The Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award is limited to work that contains an original contribution. The thesis will contain a substantial research component and be, in whole or in part, of publishable quality. The work must address some aspect of the information sciences, broadly interpreted. A thesis may be submitted only once. Eligible Thesis must have been successfully defended by the award submission deadline. The theses eligible for the award are those successfully defended in the current spring and past fall and summer semesters. The nomination must be endorsed by the Chair of the Thesis Committee.

Evaluation Criteria

The student must be in good academic standing. The Thesis will be evaluated based on:

  • Presentation and preparation quality.
  • Writing quality.
  • Organizational quality.
  • Quality of analysis and comment.
  • Originality of contribution.
  • Use of appropriate literature/resources.

Outstanding ePortfolio Award

The Outstanding ePortfolio Award recognizes excellence in ePortfolio developed as a capstone achievement. This award will be conferred at the School’s Hooding and Awards Ceremony in May. The winner(s) must agree to make the winning ePortfolio(s) accessible to SIS community as examples for students and for internal and external program accreditation committees. Learn more about the award here.

Eligibility and Nomination

To be eligible for consideration, the ePortfolio must have been successfully defended in the academic year (fall or spring) in which the award will be given, or in the past summer. The nomination must be endorsed by the student’s ePortfolio Chairperson and submitted by the ePortfolio Committee who evaluated the ePortfolio. The nomination should include the URL with access permission and a brief rationale for the nomination.

For students following the Capstone ePortfolio Guidelines, the ePortfolios of all students nominated by the individual student’s ePortfolio Committee and who want to participate in the Outstanding ePortfolio Award program as well as agree to the conditions identified in the “ePortfolio Permission Form” will be considered for this award. The Student Affairs Committee will make the final decision in consultation with the ePortfolio Chairperson  of each student (as needed).

Evaluation Criteria

The student must be in good academic standing. The ePortfolio will be evaluated based on:

  • Containing substantial evidence of capstone achievements;
  • Articulating the student’s mastery of knowledge in the field, broadly interpreted;
  • Demonstrating the student’s professional promise for the student’s career goal;
  • Representing high quality standards in terms of its content, design, and usability;
  • Reflecting excellence in its presentation and preparation quality, writing quality, organizational quality, quality of analysis and comment, originality of contribution, and use of appropriate literature/resources.

In addition, the advisor’s experience with the student in advising should also be a factor, taking into consideration the advisor’s evaluation of the student’s motivation, cooperation, time management, etc. as appropriate.